Lockheed Martin has demonstrated 8h endurance by the Stalker UAS, quadrupling the stamina of the 14lb, hand-launched aircraft.

The Stalker XE variant carries the same 120in wingspan of the baseline version, but uses a fuel-cell-powered electric motor to remain airborne much longer, said Bill Borgia, director of Lockheed's advanced technology laboratory.

That performance elevates the Stalker's stamina to similar levels for much larger UAS, such as the 8h endurance of the AAI RQ-7 Shadow.

Lockheed also intends to push the endurance of the Stalker even further. A program sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) aims to demonstrate 24h endurance by the Stalker, Borgia said.

Borgia declined to provide details of the fuel cell technology that has resulted in the improved endurance levels.

The Stalker UAS competes in the same class as the 13lb, 102in-wingspan AeroVironment Puma UAS.

Source: Flight Daily News